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International Partnership Promotes Fuels Management

Columbia National Wildlife Refuge - 2003

A crew of wildland firefighters from Catalonia, a Spanish state on the Mediterranean, assisted with controlled burns here while receiving training from local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fire crews.

Catalonia is located in an area with heavy and highly flammable vegetation, similar to Southern California. The crew's current leader previously spent three months at the refuge learning about modern fire management. The Catalonian fire department then established a fuels management program using 60 fire staff to burn about 8,000 acres per year. In turn, the Spanish firefighters are providing assistance and training to other fire managers in Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Russia so that they can launch their own fuels management programs.

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